Saturday, September 26, 2015

Why We Moved Here

There are several reasons that we moved here. First and foremost is our Father's leading. But, there are plenty of other benefits for which we are grateful. One of the highlights of our year is to ride our horses in the mountains when the aspens are in full fall color. This year we trailered the horses to Kenosha Pass to take in the fall plumage. Here are some pics. We hope you are as amazed as we are when we get to see God's handiwork in such glorious splendor. (Click on each picture for a larger image)

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Mega Post

This post includes a lot of topics. I'll try to keep each one short so you don't nod off...

The Roof is Done
Whew, the roof is finally done! All the metal flashing is up and we should be water-proof now. All the ups and downs on the ladder, putting on the harness (so I don't fall off), fighting the wind that frequently tried to pull the metal out of my hands, etc.
Lest you get the wrong idea, Laurie has been a tremendous help in all of this. She stays on the ground and does things like cut metal, pre-drill holes in the metal, hands metal and other stuff up to me, makes great suggestions, etc. She truly is an invaluable partner in all of this!
Here's the finished roof:

Happy House Mini-Me
A while back, before we even started the Happy House, we build the duck house. We thought it would be cute to fashion it similar to what the HH would look like. It has 8 sides and we call it the Duckagon. Here's a picture I couldn't resist:

Looks like a HH "mini-me", huh?

More Digging
We did some rough grading around the house and it started to look pretty good. Unfortunately, we had to dig more holes for the deck posts. We'll be starting on the deck soon.

Horse Pasture and Changing Aspens
I took some time out a few days ago to expand the horse pasture. The boys were eating the existing pasture down to bare dirt (can't let that happen!). I don't know how many acres I now have fenced in (with electric wire) for them to use now, but it's probably around 8 acres (out of 40). I took this pic with the horses on the other side of the fenced area to give some perspective:
Laurie is actually standing in the middle of the "herd", but you can't see her. When we get the whole thing fenced, they're going to look like tiny dots. Notice the aspens in the background are starting to change colors. 
Here's a close pic of the aspens: 

And we actually took a few hours for a ride today! Can't work all the time :) .

Friday, September 11, 2015

Dinner and Water in the HH

Dinner and water? Sounds like an odd combination. But, things are continuing to move along in the Happy House (HH) and these are two things I wanted to share in this post.

A few weeks ago, Laurie and I set up a card table and plastic chairs in the HH. A few times we took some cheese, crackers and wine out there and enjoyed the view while munching. The other day Kelly and Carol (who are building a house on a property across the road from us) came over to share dinner. We decided to eat in the HH; a preview of the time we will be living in it and enjoying this experience every day. Carol snapped a picture with her phone:

What a view, eh?

Up until now, we've been dragging multiple water hoses around in order to fill up the RV, the stock tank for the horses and water for the ducks. Now that the house shell is complete, we were ready to get the well water run into the crawlspace and hooked up. We included a 300 gallon cistern for spare capacity. Here's what it looks like in the crawlspace now:

We had put in hydrants (faucets) at the barn and at the RV. A short hose is now connected to the RV. We no longer have to fill up the tank in the RV, the water goes directly into the RV water system. This provides better water pressure and is really appreciated when taking a shower. Oh, life's little pleasures J .

The ducks can now be watered with a short hose connected to the hydrant. And, the hydrant at the barn fills up the stock tank. No more dragging hoses around and having to remember to manually turn off the well pump when not in use! WooHoo!

We have been putting the metal roofing on and will have a post with pics when that is done, hopefully in the next week.

One by one, the pieces are all falling into place. And, we to continue to meet new neighbors and build relationships and connections in our new "hometown". (I saw a person wearing a T Shirt that said: "Guffey, you either get it or you don't". You have to come see Guffey in order to understand that T Shirt J )

Sunday, September 6, 2015

The Duck Story

In addition to building the house, we took on 13 ducklings, which arrived June 4th.
13 Ducklings, June 5
They grew, and grew, and at 12 weeks, they really filled the pool!

A few days ago we finally found time to "reduce the flock". We sold two of the females, and butchered three drakes and two of the remaining females. As planned, we had six remaining ducks; presumably one drake and five hens, all the Golden Cascades.

The only problem was this little stinker. "She" turned out to be a "he". This one looks pretty much like the other hens, and with 13 ducks, I hadn't noticed that he talks like a drake. Just after the butchering was over, Tim noticed that this duck was making the drake sound, and sure enough, he also has the drake curly tail.
Golden Cascade Drake

He doesn't have the white ring around his neck as the other drakes, nor the yellow bill. In fact, this bill is quite blueish-grey. All along I've just thought this was one of the hens. I had wanted to keep 5 hens for laying, but it's not a real big deal that there are only 4 now. There will be plenty of eggs for Tim and me. We'll have to figure out what to do with this extra drake, but we'll figure it out.

For now, it's awfully nice to have a mere six, calmer ducks. There's less competition for food, they all happily float in the pool a great deal of the time, and it's nice putting out half as much food for them. I don't have to clean the water bowl or pool as often, either. Ahhhhh.

For more about our ducks, see the DUCKS page at the Golden Gaits Garden blog.